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Is a Discount Dental Plan Right for You?

Even though there are plenty of low cost dental insurance policies out there, some people are looking for ways to save even more money.  If you're one of them, a discount dental plan might be the perfect option for you.


A discount dental plan is different from traditional dental insurance.   With a "normal" dental health insurance plan, you pay a monthly premium.  In return, your insurance company pays for your cleanings, x-rays, emergency services, root canals, and anything else you might need in the way of oral health.  Whether you go to the dentist once a year or once a week, your monthly premium payments will be the same.

But with a discount dental plan, things work a little differently.  Under these plans, you pay an annual fee - that comes out to be far less than what you would pay in premiums over the course of a year.  In return, you get a special dental discount card that entitles you to great deals - like 50% off on your cleanings, 30% off on your x-rays, or 20% off on your root canals.  Once the discount kicks in, you're responsible for paying the rest of the bill.  You won't have an insurance company to help cover the costs.

How Discount Dental Plans Work

And, since you won't be "represented" by an insurance company, you won't get to take advantage of the negotiated rates that dentists charge.  Instead, your discounts will be taken off the "full retail price", which could be much higher than the rate your dentist charges an insurance company.

So, how can a discount dental plan save you money?

Unlike low cost dental insurance - where you pay for coverage, even if you don't use it - you only have to pay for services and procedures you actually get under a discount dental plan.  Under traditional dental insurance, part of your monthly premium might go towards emergency services.  But if you don't need any emergency treatment, that money has been wasted.

A discount dental plan can be the perfect option for people who don't have a whole lot of oral health issues - but don't want to completely go without some kind of dental health insurance plan.   After all, if you only head to the dentist for a routine check-up once a year, you may not want to pay premiums every month.  In some cases, it's just not cost-effective!

If you have needed lots of dental work in the past - or you think you may need a fair amount of dental work in the future - you may be better off opting for traditional dental insurance.